Media and Baseball

Word Count: 654Media affects everyone and everything; There is no escape.

Media is everywhere and surrounds everything. Henry
Jenkins and Marshall McLuhan have differing points of
view as to what the meaning of media is. They both,
however, have their particular ponits which they describe
well. Jenkin’s talks about the different types of cultures that
exist, focusing on popular culture, in his essay, “What
Everyone Should Know About Popular Culture.” Mcluhan
talks about the concepts of Narcicism and the “Global
Village.” Both Jenkin’s and McLuhan’s ideas can be
focused on a particular thing, such as Baseball. That can be
further broken down and analyzed at the team level.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have most recently been the
center of attention due to the top media coverage of the
team. The team does, however, have a great history. They
were originally known as the Brooklyn dodgers until they
made a move to Los Angeles in 1958. They then became
the Los Angeles Dodgers and their owner became Walter
O’Malley. He was the owner and president for the next
twenty years. After that, he passed the team down to his
son Peter. This is a great example of Jenkin’s definition of
Folk Culture. A very important item was passed down
from generation to generation of O’Malleys, eventhough the
item was quite massive. Throughout the years, however,
the Dodgers were much a part of popular culture. Baseball
was known as “America’s Favorite Past-time,” and still is.

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The tradition that the O’Malley family had with the Dodgers
lasted until 1998, when a big corporation, the FOX group
owned by Rupert Murdoch, took over the team. This was
a time of chan!
ge, but some could argue was for the best. Being owned by
the FOX group means there is more media exposure for
the team.
Now that the team is owned by Rupert Murdoch,
McLuhan’s ideas about media can be implemented.

McLuhan’s concept of narcicism can clearly be seen with
the transition of the Dodgers from family-owned to
corporation-owned. The availability of large funds to
acquire key players makes the Dodgers seem narcicistic.

People can think that they love themselves so much, that
they will do anything to win. Most recently, Kevin Brown,
one of the league’s top pitchers was signed to a 105 million
dollar contract for 7 years. This is the biggest contract in
baseball history. This and other aquisitions was supposed
to lead the Dodgers to excellence this year. Unfortunately
for Dodgers fans, this did not happen. The team is 20
games out of first place with no chance of making post
season play. All that can be done is look back and start
thinking about next season. Unlike this season, however,
the team should not talk and say they will win it all. They
should go out and prov!
e that they can be winners, which they are.
The Dodgers, as well as any other baseball team, can
almost be treated like a religion. People will attend games
regularly and wear their team’s colors and logos, much like
the Jewish people wear their yamulkas. People follow their
teams on television, radio, and any other type of media
available to them. Most recently, the Dodgers have found a
home on the internet. Fans can now watch clips of Dodger
games or even hear a game live on the internet. This relates
to McLuhan’s concept of the “Global Village.” Having live
broadcasts available on the internet is a great way for
Dodger fans, who might happen to be in college in the east
coast, to listen and keep up with the latest news about their
team. It is good knowing that one can be a Dodger fan
anywhere in the world. The internet facilitates the distance
factor that exists between a Dodger fan in Boston and his
team in Los Angeles.
Baseball is a lot like filming a movie. It involves
pre-production, the making of the movie itself, and then
some editing and post-production. In Baseball there is the
preseason, the season itself, and the postseason or
playoffs. For the Dodgers, there will be no postseason this
year. Much like a bad movie that was trashed by the
producers. The key is not to give up and keep trying.

Dodger fans all over the world know that the year 2000 is
the year of the championship. There is no escape.